How to lose weight without exercising – from taking stairs to sitting on floor

Most of us know that we should be getting more exercise than we are whether that’s because we want to lose weight or just care about our health.

But, slogging it out at the gym or running in the winter is not exactly a pleasant thought – and losing weight without trying is the dream.

And, while you won’t shed the pounds by doing nothing there are are a few simple changes you can make in your day-to-day life that will likely go unnoticed by you, your friends, family, or colleagues.

These simple changes can be referred to as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which put simply is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.

The number of calories burned through NEAT can vary substantially from one individual to the next, even two people of the same size and weight.

Sitting on the floor rather than the couch will burn extra calories
Sitting on the floor rather than the couch will burn extra calories

But, there are small ways you can incorporate NEAT into your life and daily habits which can help you to do more exercise and be more active without even realising.

David Wiener, Training Specialist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, shared five top ways to incorporate more of these activities into your life.

Check out his suggestions below:

Take the stairs

Walking up and down the stairs is an efficient way to burn calories and up your step count during the day.

Although working from home may diminish the number of stairs you encounter, spending 10-20 minutes marching up and down the stairs or taking short breaks to climb up and down can drastically increase your step count.

The stairs are also an excellent way to get your heart rate up, burning around 8 – 11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other moderate level physical activities.

Take the stairs instead of using the lift
Take the stairs instead of using the lift

Work on the go

Working from home has given us the luxury of being able to create our own routines and work to our own schedules.

So, any Zoom meetings or phone calls during the working day where you don’t need to be at your laptop or on video, take the call whilst moving around your house or doing laps around the garden.

Walking, even at a slow speed is a good way to burn calories and fat, with a one-hour walk (approx. 3 miles) burning around 210 and 360 calories.

Take extra trips

Having everything to localised to your home (if you’re still working from home), it is easy to get into a ‘lazy’ mindset.

When taking your laundry upstairs or taking your shopping in from the car, instead of trying to take everything in one go, try taking a couple more trips than may be necessary to get some extra steps in.

Try to walk while working
Try to walk while working

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Sit on the floor to watch TV

Opting to sit on the floor rather than the sofa while watching TV can have a big impact on your fitness levels and help you burn an extra 100 calories daily without even realising it.

The reason for this is that modern sofa technology has created supreme comfort leading you to remain motionless through an entire season of your favourite show.

By sitting on the floor, which is likely more uncomfortable, you will be shuffling, changing position, standing up and generally moving around a lot more and therefore burning extra calories.

Desk workout

With WFH still in full swing, chances are you don’t have a very long commute, you will be sat at your desk for hours on end without moving further than the bathroom.

By adding in a few desk workouts that are so subtle you will be working and strengthening your muscles at the same time. For example, hip tilts, which can be done from your chair work your lower abdominal muscles.

Do this by tilting your hips forward and towards your desk in a C motion – similar to a crunch but using the muscles lower down. Repeat 10 times, twice a day.

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